View Full Version : Location photography luncheon jar lids

John Cook
11-Aug-2005, 04:16
Yes, I said I was getting off-line and heading out to make some pictures. And I am. Right after I finish packing the wicker lunch basket with tea and watercress sandwiches (with the crust cut off). My wife is English, you know.

Opening jars for location photography rations is what this post is all about. For others, like myself, who have ever struggled with a vacuum jar lid there is now an ingenious, cheap little gadget which perfectly solves the problem. I use mine daily. So easy, even a girl can work it. (gotcha) No bulky expensive electrified countertop machines required.

Do yourself a favor:


Ron Marshall
11-Aug-2005, 06:53
John, I used to live down the street from the Lee Valley Store in Ottawa, and I was always wandering in when I had a moment to see what new gadget they had come up with. Lots of great tools for woodworkers too.

tim atherton
11-Aug-2005, 07:50
Beat me to it Ron, I was just going to say I was actually in our Lee Valley store yesterday looking for a couple of gizmos - ended up with one of those Japanese credit card sized levels for the camera instead of what I was looking f0r... oh and a nice Panama hat made out of hemp!

Anyway John, from the things you have described inthe past that give value to your life, when you stepped through the door I think you would probably feel you had entered Nirvana :-)

Antonio Corcuera
11-Aug-2005, 08:26
I use my pocket knife with the same effect... (also for the crustless sandwiches!)

Bruce Watson
11-Aug-2005, 08:59
I use a strap wrench for said jar opening duty. And yes, my wife can use it too ;-)

I originally got it to help me get unscrew my ball head from my tripod. It's one of those dumb things you have to do if you are going to fly with your LF kit these days. Sigh...

I found out about the strap wrench's way with jar lid removal when a recalcitrant salsa jar resisted all reasonable alternative methods of removing it's lid. Opening the salsa jar with the strap wrench proved to be nearly effortless. It's amazing what a little leverage can do.

Tony Karnezis
11-Aug-2005, 10:53
Those of us with Herculean strength never have this problem. =)

domenico Foschi
11-Aug-2005, 11:15
tap the side of the lid with a knife in 3 different spots ( to create 3 light dents) and twist : it almost never fails.

Greg Miller
11-Aug-2005, 11:53
Just thump the bottom of the jar firmly with the heel or your hand. Accomplishes that same thing re: releasing the vacuum. And you always have your hand with you (unlike most other gadgets that invariably are somewhere else when you need them).

Joe Hudgens
11-Aug-2005, 18:51
Just wedge a spoon under the lid and slightly push down.
Works every time. :-)

11-Aug-2005, 21:16
My mate is Irish (Molly McGuire) and has a masters in counseling - ya see the jar has to WANT to open. Actually, she bangs it smartly and the jar pops open ... or breaks. My, those English ladies are so fussy. :)

Donald Qualls
11-Aug-2005, 22:22
Thirty-some years ago, I learned a very effective trick for loosening recalcitrant jar lids (though since growing into my adult strength, I don't need to use it often).

Hold the jar upside down, and firmly smack the lid, *flat*, on a smooth, solid surface (counter top works well). Works well over 99% of the time. One does have to be careful not to hit at an angle, as doing so can break the glass. How does it work? The rubber or plastic seal in the lid compresses a little, taking the pressure off the threads or cams that hold the lid shut. The seal doesn't rebound completely or instantly, so you have a few seconds in which you can remove the lid with relative ease.

Struan Gray
12-Aug-2005, 00:22
You mean those lids unscrew? I always thought they'd just lost the pull tab.

John, if your wife is English, she needs to shop here: www.lakelandlimited.com. How I survived childhood without the little tongs to pull the green bit off the strawberry I'll never know.

John Cook
12-Aug-2005, 03:39
Thank you, Struan.

Actually, I still have a pair somewhere that were my Motherís. But I have book-marked the site and passed it along to my bride.

Now, if she could only find that Royal Doulton with the hand-painted periwinkles like Hyacinth has on the telly...

Struan Gray
12-Aug-2005, 06:28
That's "Boo-kay"....

Lladro's the key. I've never known a coffee table that wouldn't be improved by a nice piece of Lladro.